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Chinese consul offers West advice on Ukraine — Analysis

The diplomat posted a helpful meme contrasting China’s approach to Ukraine with that of the West

On Monday, the Chinese consular officer in Northern Ireland contrasted Beijing’s response to Ukraine’s crisis to that of its allies and the US. In particular, the US is concerned about Western Europe suffering from energy scarcity due to anti-Russian sanctions. Zhang Meifang, a Chinese diplomat who has served previously in Canada and the US, is just one of the many Chinese diplomats who have learned to use cartoons and memes to communicate with Westerners.

While China has been advocating for a negotiated end to the hostilities in Ukraine, the West’s answer is to shower less as that would somehow annoy Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a meme Zhang postedOn Twitter

Zhang, currently Chinese consul General in Belfast, previously held the position of deputy consulgeneral in New York, Toronto and New York, according to her biography.

It was her first time having it. postedAnother meme featuring the same punchline Saturday tells Europeans. “Americans won’t pay for your gas bills.”

Zhang’s memes were a reference to the German government’s campaign of urging their population to shower less, in order to save energy, water, and gas – most of which was being imported from Russia. Berlin claimed that this behavior shift would make people more healthy and greener. A poll made public last week indicated that over 60% of Germans had followed the government’s advice.

The “wash only four body parts” meme wasn’t the only zinger Zhang chose to tweet on Monday. Zhang also tweeted: sharedChina Daily has a cartoon showing NATO, a Swiss-made army knife, as depicted in a Chinese political cartoon. Its many implements have been bloodied by US interventions. “freedom, democracy and human rights.”

Zhang commented on the launch of the new module to the Chinese space station. NPC meme postedYi Cao her Chinese counterpart in Lebanon, as well as another outspoken Chinese. “wolf warrior” diplomat.

In recent years, Beijing officials tried a different approach to communicating with the West. Zhao Lijian (foreign ministry spokesperson), is the most visible voice behind this initiative. He is best-known for his aggressive rebuttal against US claims about Covid-19’s origin. 

Zhao criticized the US earlier this month with photographs comparing American withdrawal from Kabul to China’s humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. In April, when Washington sought to pressure China to denounce Russia over the Ukraine conflict, Zhao responded by sharing a cartoon depicting a hand in the colors of the US flag holding a gun to someone’s head, with the caption “Take (my) Side!”

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